Mechanistic study of drag reduction in turbulent pipeline flow over anionic polymer and surfactant mixtures

  • Yanlin Chai
  • Xianwen Li
  • Jiafeng Geng
  • Jiaxin Pan
  • Yalong Huang
  • Dengwei JingEmail author
Original Contribution


The mixed aqueous solutions of anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate with polymer polyacrylamide of various kinds, i.e., cationic, anionic, nonionic, and zwitterion, were firstly tested to study their synergistic effect on drag reduction performance. The optimal combination of sodium dodecyl sulfate with anionic polyacrylamide was confirmed due to their strong hydrophobic interaction and electrostatic repulsion caused by the same charge. The surface tension, conductivity, and viscosity of pure surfactant solution and mixed solutions at different surfactant concentrations with anionic polymer of certain concentration were tested, and their drag reduction behavior in pipe flow was also investigated experimentally. It turns out that drag reduction performance acquired from the combination of anionic surfactant and anionic polyacrylamide is better than either of the single additive, especially under high shear rate. For the mixtures, the degree of drag reduction is strongly dependent on the concentration of SDS and more pronounced in the high Reynolds number range. The best drag reduction performance is obtained for the SDS concentration around the polymer saturation point. Our work should be of value for the drag reduction in the application such as shale gas fracturing and various fluid transports.


Drag reduction Anionic surfactant Anionic polymer Surface tension Conductivity Viscosity 


Funding information

This study was financial supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51776165, 51888103) and Shanxi Science & Technology Co-ordination & Innovation Project (Contract No. 2017ZDXM-GY-067). This work was also supported by the China Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Flow in Power Engineering & International Research Center for Renewable EnergyXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Oil and Gas Technology Research Institute of Changqing Oilfield CompanyXi’anChina

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